Can 'true Catholics' support same-sex marriage?
Ex-priest Jim Smith, opponent of Minnesota's ballot to ban same-sex marriages, says these are difficult days to be Catholic.
June 20th, 2012
09:35 AM ET

Can 'true Catholics' support same-sex marriage?

By Chris Welch, CNN

Minneapolis (CNN) - Jim Smith is a former Roman Catholic priest who left his post with the church 10 years ago. He's an ex-priest for several reasons, he says, but one of his main concerns was the church's stance against same-sex marriage and other LGBT issues.

But Smith remains a Catholic - though he says being a Catholic who actively campaigns for legalized same-sex marriages can be difficult these days.

"I'd much rather this wasn't happening," Smith says of the division that the issue has created among Minnesota  Catholics. "But it does provide some real opportunities because it challenges us to talk to each other, Catholics talking to other Catholics."

Minnesota has become the newest epicenter in the same-sex marriage fight. This November, voters will decide whether they want an amendment added to the state's constitution that would ban marriage between members of the same sex.

Smith will be voting "no." And he has helped spearhead efforts in the state to persuade other Catholics to do the same.

A group he helped form,  Catholics for Marriage Equality-Minnesota, aims "to encourage Catholics to consider the profound sacredness of same-gender relationships and to defeat this marriage amendment," Smith says.

Vatican edicts against same-sex marriage often give Catholic same-sex marriage supporters the impression they're in the minority.

Related story: Same-sex marriage by the numbers 

But a recent poll by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) suggests 59% of American Catholics support rights allowing gay and lesbian couples to legally marry. One reason behind that statistic - says PRRI CEO Robert P. Jones - is because U.S. Catholics "overwhelmingly reject the idea that sexual orientation can be changed." A PRRI poll bears that out – with 69% of Catholics nationwide saying a person's sexual orientation cannot be changed.

In the Midwest alone, Catholics are evenly divided on the issue of same-sex marriage -– with 46% in favor, 47% against.

Opinion: GOP support for same-sex marriage growing

Related story: Both sides re-energized for upcoming same-sex marriage fight

Like Jim Smith, Michelle LaFrance is a Catholic who has also taken the bold step against the church in support of marriage equality.

"I remember thinking 'wow, maybe I shouldn't [remain a Catholic],' " LaFrance said. Ultimately they've remained with the Catholic faith, citing its many positive aspects including going to church. It's an important weekly ritual for LaFrance, her husband and their three kids.

"The Catholic Church, despite the media [attention] it typically gets, does a lot of great things, a lot of great social justice," LaFrance said. She noted the church "feeds the poor, houses the homeless, takes care of the abused."

The LaFrance family belongs to the Church of St. Margaret Mary in the Minneapolis suburb of Golden Valley, a congregation which LaFrance describes as fairly progressive. She says the majority of her fellow parishioners agree with her stance on same-sex marriage.

But when LaFrance hears the archdiocese telling people how they should think about it, she can't help but sometimes feel like less of a Catholic.

"I don't think anybody - whatever their religious denomination - whole-heartedly follows every single rule down to the letter."

Related story: U.S. history of same-sex marriage

On the other side of the debate stands Dave Deavel.

Although he agrees with LaFrance to an extent, he says he believes there are certain pillars of the Catholic faith that people should follow. One of those is the church stance that marriage should remain between one man and one woman.

"The whole point of what the church teaches is to form people's consciences," Deavel says.

For Deavel, his wife and their five children, attending church is so important they strive to go multiple times a week.

He's active with Minnesota for Marriage, which supports of the same-sex-marriage ban, and has written various blog posts on the topic for the Minnesota Catholic Conference.

Asked whether he believes a person can be "less of a Catholic" for disagreeing with the church, Deavel says the Vatican "doesn't really have a certain category for 'less of a Catholic.' "

"But they certainly don't represent what the church teaches," he said. "Is it a spiritual problem? I think yes."

Opinion: The secret gay agenda

In a written statement the MCC said groups such as Catholics for Marriage Equality "do not have any right to call their organizations 'Catholic.'"

In the past, the conference has issued statements accusing Catholics for Marriage Equality of trying "to confuse Catholics and the public about authentic church teaching" on marriage.

"Catholics for Marriage Equality MN attempts to convince Catholics that they can be in good standing with the church and oppose church teaching about human sexuality and marriage, which centers on the complementarity of the sexes and the mutual self-gift of loving spouses in marital union," said an MCC statement.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis declined CNN's request for an interview, but it agreed with sentiments expressed by the Minnesota Catholic Conference.

Does church doctrine make it impossible for same-sex marriage supporters to be true Catholics?

"There is no judgment intended about an individual's 'Catholicity' or 'Catholic-ness,' " says MCC spokeswoman Jessica Zittlow.

Minnesota's November ballot proposal to ban same-sex marriage isn't an amendment against LGBT individuals, say the MCC and the St. Paul and Minneapolis Archdiocese. Instead, they say it should strictly be viewed as an amendment supporting traditional marriage.

For ex-priest Jim Smith, grappling with the issue has been difficult - a personal struggle that extends to the heart of his faith.

The inner conflict between what Smith believes is right and his love for the church has pushed him to consider leaving the Catholic religion altogether.

In the end, Smith vows he will stay. "It's in my bones."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 2012 Election • Catholic Church • Christianity • Faith • Minnesota • Politics • Polls • Same-sex marriage

soundoff (2,849 Responses)
  1. LOL


    June 20, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • mikeM

      So Jews are protesting to gay marriage? I though it was OK to do so in the Zionist state.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  2. Anomic Office Drone

    It really comes down to this: do you believe you have the right to impose your religious beliefs on to others? If you're a real American, the answer is no.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • mamivaqui

      exactly! you get 100 points in my class, drone, could not agree more! 🙂

      June 20, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Do I have the right to vote in accordance with my values?

      June 20, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
  3. gail Mathews

    Jeremiah 23

    New King James Version (NKJV)
    The Branch of Righteousness

    23 “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!” says the Lord. 2 Therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel against the shepherds who feed My people: “You have scattered My flock, driven them away, and not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for the evil of your doings,” says the Lord. 3 “But I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries where I have driven them, and bring them back to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. 4 I will set up shepherds over them who will feed them; and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, nor shall they be lacking,” says the Lord.

    5 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord,
    “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness;
    A King shall reign and prosper,
    And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.
    6 In His days Judah will be saved,
    And Israel will dwell safely;
    Now this is His name by which He will be called:


    7 “Therefore, behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “that they shall no longer say, ‘As the Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ 8 but, ‘As the Lord lives who brought up and led the descendants of the house of Israel from the north country and from all the countries where I had driven them.’ And they shall dwell in their own land.”
    False Prophets and Empty Oracles

    9 My heart within me is broken
    Because of the prophets;
    All my bones shake.
    I am like a drunken man,
    And like a man whom wine has overcome,
    Because of the Lord,
    And because of His holy words.
    10 For the land is full of adulterers;
    For because of a curse the land mourns.
    The pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up.
    Their course of life is evil,
    And their might is not right.

    11 “For both prophet and priest are profane;
    Yes, in My house I have found their wickedness,” says the Lord.
    12 “Therefore their way shall be to them
    Like slippery ways;
    In the darkness they shall be driven on
    And fall in them;
    For I will bring disaster on them,
    The year of their punishment,” says the Lord.
    13 “And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria:
    They prophesied by Baal
    And caused My people Israel to err.
    14 Also I have seen a horrible thing in the prophets of Jerusalem:
    They commit adultery and walk in lies;
    They also strengthen the hands of evildoers,
    So that no one turns back from his wickedness.
    All of them are like Sodom to Me,
    And her inhabitants like Gomorrah.

    15 “Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets:

    ‘Behold, I will feed them with wormwood,
    And make them drink the water of gall;
    For from the prophets of Jerusalem
    Profaneness has gone out into all the land.’”

    16 Thus says the Lord of hosts:

    “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you.
    They make you worthless;
    They speak a vision of their own heart,
    Not from the mouth of the Lord.
    17 They continually say to those who despise Me,
    ‘The Lord has said, “You shall have peace”’;
    And to everyone who walks according to the dictates of his own heart, they say,
    ‘No evil shall come upon you.’”

    18 For who has stood in the counsel of the Lord,
    And has perceived and heard His word?
    Who has marked His word and heard it?
    19 Behold, a whirlwind of the Lord has gone forth in fury—
    A violent whirlwind!
    It will fall violently on the head of the wicked.
    20 The anger of the Lord will not turn back
    Until He has executed and performed the thoughts of His heart.
    In the latter days you will understand it perfectly.

    21 “I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran.
    I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.
    22 But if they had stood in My counsel,
    And had caused My people to hear My words,
    Then they would have turned them from their evil way
    And from the evil of their doings.

    23 “Am I a God near at hand,” says the Lord,
    “And not a God afar off?
    24 Can anyone hide himself in secret places,
    So I shall not see him?” says the Lord;
    “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the Lord.

    25 “I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in My name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ 26 How long will this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies? Indeed they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart, 27 who try to make My people forget My name by their dreams which everyone tells his neighbor, as their fathers forgot My name for Baal.

    28 “The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream;
    And he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully.
    What is the chaff to the wheat?” says the Lord.
    29 “Is not My word like a fire?” says the Lord,
    “And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?

    30 “Therefore behold, I am against the prophets,” says the Lord, “who steal My words every one from his neighbor. 31 Behold, I am against the prophets,” says the Lord, “who use their tongues and say, ‘He says.’ 32 Behold, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” says the Lord, “and tell them, and cause My people to err by their lies and by their recklessness. Yet I did not send them or command them; therefore they shall not profit this people at all,” says the Lord.

    33 “So when these people or the prophet or the priest ask you, saying, ‘What is the oracle of the Lord?’ you shall then say to them, ‘What oracle?’[b] I will even forsake you,” says the Lord. 34 “And as for the prophet and the priest and the people who say, ‘The oracle of the Lord!’ I will even punish that man and his house. 35 Thus every one of you shall say to his neighbor, and every one to his brother, ‘What has the Lord answered?’ and, ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ 36 And the oracle of the Lord you shall mention no more. For every man’s word will be his oracle, for you have perverted the words of the living God, the Lord of hosts, our God. 37 Thus you shall say to the prophet, ‘What has the Lord answered you?’ and, ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ 38 But since you say, ‘The oracle of the Lord!’ therefore thus says the Lord: ‘Because you say this word, “The oracle of the Lord!” and I have sent to you, saying, “Do not say, ‘The oracle of the Lord!’” 39 therefore behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you and forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and will cast you out of My presence. 40 And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.’”

    June 20, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Marcos

      I hate you.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Hugo

      What's your point?

      June 20, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Glad I'll Be Left Behind

      as if anyone is going to read that nonsense.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      gail Mathews: Incapable of thinking for yourself? Might we suggest some medication for those delusions?

      June 20, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I can cuy and paste more verses than you can. Na, na, na, na, na...na.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • Get Real

      gail Mathews,

      There is not a single shred of verified evidence that any supernatural being(s) said or did any of the things told about in those Bible stories.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Baaaaa

      @gail Mathews,

      A shepherd takes such good care of his sheep for 2 reasons:
      1. Profit from selling their flesh, hide and wool
      2. Dinner

      The ancient guy who thought up that analogy was dumb.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  4. Glad I'll Be Left Behind

    Keep it up CNN! Keep picking apart organized religion. It's bad for the environment, the kids, ... and the future of mankind. Maybe in a handful of years God will end up in the same books as Zeus; where he belongs.

    BAN CHILD BRAINWASH. KEEP GOD AWAY until they are old enough to debunk it all themselves.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  5. Steve

    GAYS SHOULD BE SENTENCED TO DEATH! Look at Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, etc. it´s illegal to be gay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 20, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • sam stone

      Steve: You are a diseased C word

      June 20, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • D

      Steve go F yourself!!!!!!!!

      June 20, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Marcos

      I wouldn't go that far. I just think we definitely shouldn't let them get married or vote and stuff. But I dont think we should be violent toward gays, ever.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • mamivaqui

      great places to live! a "gayless" society sounds fascinating, probably without art, without good comedy, without colors, without any kind of style in clothing...paradise!

      June 20, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Steve: Bigot!

      June 20, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Steve want to live in Iran. Bye bye.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • Edwin

      Steve: do you REALLY think of Iran as the model of a good, moral society? Seriously?

      June 20, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • Paul

      Steve its OK to come out of the closet now.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • atomD21

      Wow, I'm surprised you all took the bait on that one...

      June 20, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  6. Dana

    Wow, what an overblown issue. I am a true Catholic. I don't care what others think about gay marriage. My church might say this or that but it is my conscience that I deal with in this issue. I can handle it, it does not make me a "fake" Catholic like this ex-priest seems to suggest. I'm getting tired of this country's constant pointing out some fake and ridiculous stuff to antagonize the rest of the country against my religion. Get married, divorce, offer or not birth control, I DO NOT CARE.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I am a false Catholic. I know what the "no true Scotsman fallacy is"... oh wait.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  7. religion; a way to control the weak minded

    Please, I never said anything of the sort. All I said was "you are making a rather large assumption that your god is REAL, without proof". Keep shoving words in my mouth though. Makes you appear intelligent...actually not really. Just makes you look like you have a reading comprehension level of a 1st grader.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Marcos

      Romney for President. 2012. Obama is a socialist pig.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  8. Mahmud

    Allah says to kill gays....... those who don't follow the truly Quran will búrn in héllfire!

    June 20, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • LOL Religion

      You and the bigoted Orthodox Jew (No to Gay marriage) below should get together and kill each other, do us all a favor.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Don't be a fake...

      Hey Peanut Head,

      Don't pretend to be a Muslim and spout stupid rhetoric in an effort to conjour anti-Islamic replies to your post. That's just dumb.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • mamivaqui

      a religion that syas kill? wow! so what your saying is that religion should be equated with hate...wouldn't the world be better then without it?

      June 20, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  9. Justin

    As I often remind people who reply to these articles....marriage is not a religous right. It is a legal standing. I am a gay man living in Minnesota. I have no intention of ever getting married in the church. However, I do deserve the right to marry who I love. I saw a brilliant poster the other day "I don't vote on who you love, please don't vote on who I love". Seperation of church and state needs to be upheld. Yes, religoin does often form peoples opinions and values; however one would hope that intelligence would over rule and tell you that this is purely about law...nothing more. Vote No Minnesota!

    June 20, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Mahmud

      May Allah lead you to right way. Allah says to kill gays according to the Quran.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Matt

      Well said Justin!

      June 20, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Mohammad was a pedophile... so what your allah and quran have to say about anything is pretty irrelevant.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • mikeM

      Marry your pet dog, just don't ask me to condone your behavior. Don't ask me to do business with you as a couple. I ask for respect of my opinions. I have a right to them. According to the Chritian you should be loved, but your "sin" hated. I tend to go with the Muslims. They seem to be more honest.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Madtown

      Right on Justin. However, as much as separation of church and state isn't always upheld, the separation of church and intelligence is most definitely upheld! Good luck.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  10. NO to gay marriage

    I'm Orthodox Jewish and gay marriage is forbidden according to Torah and Talmud. Gay should be punished to death.
    Respect religion and follow it.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Fu.ck your religion.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Justin

      One group of people once thought Jews should be punished to death as well. Were they right? I don't believe they were...but here you stand ignorant and advocating the same type of punishment for a segment of people.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      I second that. "Fu.ck your religion."

      June 20, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Hugo

      You are Orthodox Jewish and you hold the belief that Gentiles should be killed for disobeying rules given to the Jews?

      Why do you think Jewish Law applies to Gentiles?

      June 20, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • sam stone

      F you, punk

      June 20, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Hugo

      @Hawaii & Twin, I very much question that the OP is actually an Orthodox Jew. Why do you react as if he really is?

      June 20, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Glad I'll Be Left Behind

      lol. Corrupt fool. Enjoy 'eternity' in utter nothing... which is a better guess then heaven for 'after death'... it's at least more plausible.

      And on Day 1, MAN MADE GOD.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Even if he isn't, it is still a religion which, biblically, is supported, and that's the thing. Reflecting the actual doctrine of an immoral religion is what happened, and I stand by my statement against the religion itself.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Get outside, and slay your goat. Idiot.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  11. gail Mathews

    Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged!

    By: John Duncan

    The most misquoted verse in the Bible is probably Matthew 7:1, "Judge not that ye be not judged." We hear this verse multiple times a day. At Troy State University in Alabama, a professor we met even said that it was one of the Ten Commandments. Too often we have heard sincere, misinformed Christians and unbelievers alike say, "I don’t want to judge anybody, but..." Ironically, the one who screams "judge not" is often the one passing judgment on you!

    Let’s See What the Bible Really Says About Judging:

    "The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment." (Psa 37:30)

    "With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth." (Psa 119:13)

    "Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy." (Prov 31:9)

    Jesus commended Simon, "Thou hast rightly judged." (Luke 7:43)

    "Now, thou son of man, wilt thou judge, wilt thou judge the bloody city? yea, thou shalt show her all her abominations." (Ezek 22:2)

    "But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man." (1 Cor 2:15)

    "Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?" (1 Cor 6:2)

    "Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?" (1 Cor 6:3)

    There are many other passages and verses in the Bible about judging. While God is our ultimate Judge, He has also commanded us to judge according to the Word of God.

    According to the Webster’s Dictionary, to judge means "to discern, to distinguish, to form an opinion, to compare facts or ideas, and perceive their agreement or disagreement, and thus to distinguish truth from falsehood." Therefore, when you say that your neighbor is a "good person," you are passing a judgment (forming an opinion) just as much as when you say that the thief is a "bad person."

    If there were no judgment...

    All the prisons would be empty and thieves, serial killers, drug dealers, rapists, and murderers would be loose in your neighborhood.

    You could not discipline your children and teach them not to steal, lie, do drugs, or give in to peer pressure.

    School could not be mandated (by parents or govt) but if children did attend, they could not be evaluated as to their progress. Everyone should graduate regardless of their advance. Students could not be graded or disciplined.

    You could not judge any false doctrine and would have to allow it to be taught from your church’s pulpit ("discerning" is the same thing as "judging").

    You should leave your children with anyone who said was qualified to be a baby-sitter. You should not bother to check his/her background. Later, you should not be upset if this baby-sitter turned out to be a child-molester, because "thou shalt not judge."

    You should marry anyone that asked. You shouldn’t worry about his/her character or beliefs. What if he beats you up? What if she runs around on you? You shouldn’t get so mad because "thou shalt not judge."

    June 20, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • QS

      Imagine that...yet another interpretation.

      You do realize that there's a difference between judging somebody who has actually done something deserving of being judged and judging somebody solely on who they are, don't you?

      June 20, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • cnnmembuh

      Well, there's earthly judgment which can be undertaken by man, and then there's God's judgment (alone) of one's immortal soul. I think that's the distinction.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • the fox

      Gail, you are one sick puppy.......

      June 20, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  12. Tyler Pommerenke

    CNN hates Catholics, Im Catholic my main worries about this is what is happening in other countries. In Denmark and Canada (I think) and other places churches are requied to marry gays. Im fine with gays marrying in Courts but not in Church. Im also all for Civil Unions and giving more rights to them, but church marriage is definately wrong if gay

    June 20, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • mikeM

      So if you think only church marriage is wrong, you would be OK with doing business with a gay couple? You would rent them a house? That doesn't seem very "Catholic" to me. On the other hand, the Catholic Church is too screwed up to know up from down anymore.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      What a joke. You have obviously never been to either Canada or Denmark. Liar.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  13. Sad but true

    Few 100% true Reasons why Atheism is TERRIBLE and unhealthy for our children and living things:

    † Atheism is a religion that makes you angry, stupid, brainwashed, ignorant & blind.
    † Atheism is a disease that needs to be treated.
    † Atheism makes you post stupid things (90% of silly comments here on CNN blogs are posted by closet Atheists)
    † Atheist are satanic and have gothic lifestyle.
    † Atheists are misguided and causes problem in our religious & public society.
    † Atheists are mentally ill, that's why they have no faith.
    † Atheism won't take you to kingdom of heaven and paradise.
    † Atheism making you agree with Stalin, Hitler (Denied his faith later), Mao, Pol Pot & other terrible mass murder leaders.
    † No traditional family lifestyle, no holidays, no culture, boring and feeling 'outsider'
    † Atheists are angry, drug additcted and committ the most crime.
    † Atheist try to convert people over internet because they feel "safer" behind closet.
    † Atheists do not really exist, they just pretend that they don't believe in God and argue with religious people.
    † Atheists have had terrible life experience, bad childhood and not being loved.
    † Most Atheists are uneducated... No Atheists could run for presidency.
    † Atheism brought upon the French Revolution, one of the most evil events of all of history.
    † Atheism cannot explain the origins of the universe, therefore God exists.
    † All atheists believe in evolution, which means they don't believe in morality and think we should all act like animals.
    † The Bible says atheism is wrong, and the Bible is always right (see: Genesis 1:1, Psalms 14:1, Psalms 19:1, Romans 1:19-20)
    † Countries where Atheism is prevalent has the highest Suicide rate & Communist countries = Atheism!
    **Only 2-3% of the U.S. are Atheists/Agnostics VS. over 90% who believe in God (80% Christians) in the U.S.**

    † † Our Prayers goes to Atheists to be mentally healthy and seek their creator † †

    PS! the USA is a † nation and will always be. You know it's true and stop being ignorant and arrogant!
    (Take a look at our federal/state holidays, 99% of our presidents, blue laws in parts of the nation, the majority of people, some laws, calendar, culture, etc.)

    June 20, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Oh look the troll with 20 different names is back with the same idiocy.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • YeahRight

      Atheism is a religion that makes you stupid, ignorant & blind. -LIE
      Atheism is a disease that needs to be treated. -LIE
      Atheism makes you post stupid things (90% of silly comments here on CNN blogs are posted by closet Atheists) -LIE
      Atheist are satanic and have gothic lifestyle. -LIE
      Atheists causes problem in our religious society. -LIE
      Atheists are mentally ill, that's why they have no faith. -LIE
      Atheism won't take you to kingdom of heaven and paradise. -LIE
      Atheism making you agree with Stalin, Hitler (Denied his faith later), Mao, Pol Pot & other terrible mass murder leaders. -LIE
      No traditional family lifestyle, no holidays, no culture, boring and feeling 'outsider' -LIE
      Atheists are angry, drug additcted and committ the most crime. -LIE
      Atheist try to convert people over internet because they feel "safer" behind closet. -LIE
      Atheists do not really exist, they just pretend that they don't believe in God and argue with religious people. -LIE
      Atheists have had terrible life experience, bad childhood and not being loved. -LIE
      Most Atheists are uneducated... No Atheists could run for presidency. -LIE
      Atheism brought upon the French Revolution, one of the most evil events of all of history. -LIE
      Atheism cannot explain the origins of the universe, therefore God exists. -LIE
      All atheists believe in evolution, which means they don't believe in morality and think we should all act like animals. -LIE
      The Bible says atheism is wrong, and the Bible is always right (see: Genesis 1:1, Psalms 14:1, Psalms 19:1, Romans 1:19-20) -LIE
      Countries where Atheism is prevalent has the highest Suicide rate & Communist countries = Atheism! -LIE

      It just goes to show that Christians can’t even follow one of the basic Ten Commandments by posting all these lies. What a hypocrite

      June 20, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • QS

      Pure comedy! Thanks for the laugh! 🙂

      June 20, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • AlkalineBatteries

      I agree 100%.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • mamivaqui

      you must have failed your civics subject in school...the Founding Fathers established separation of church and State...muslims, jews, atheists are as American as you are, maybe many of them less prejucided and more educated

      June 20, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • AlkalineBatteries

      I mean i totally agree with SadButTrue.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • TR6

      How often do you hear of an atheist bombing an abortion clinic? How often do you hear of suicide bombers who are atheist? How often do you hear about atheist killing each other just because they are in a different section of the same belief (I'm referring to Ireland and the catholics and protestants)? How often do you hear of atheist taking land from people and claiming a divine right? Still thinking...? As you should be do you know what all of these events have in common? THEY ALL HAPPEN IN THE NAME OF A NON EXISTENT GOD. Until people see that there is no flying spaghetti monster in the sky humanity will doom itself to extinction.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Glad I'll Be Left Behind

      Look, someone who still believes in fairy tales and decides to throw angry 2nd grade remarks into the mix... is that the same age your priest touched yoU? You poor thing. Open your mind and get out of organized religion.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • jeff

      I can't tell if you're being serious.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      LOL – this is the funniest sh.it that retard HeavenSent has ever posted! hahaha!

      June 20, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Pollywog

      What the hell have you been drinking?

      June 20, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Jkhur

      The US was not founded as a Christian nation. You confuse many of the founders belief in God with a beliief in Christ. Jefferson, Washington, John Adams, Franklin – not a Christian amongst them. Although they believed in a natural God, they did not found this nation to advance Christianity as the basis for law in the country.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • Rohan

      Wow. That has to be the most ignorant post I've ever seen. Everything in it is incorrect. And the tone shows the insecurity of the Sad but true's faith. No one comes out that hysterically (not "funny" hysterical, "unbalanced" hysterical) unless they are extremely insecure. Wow squared!

      June 20, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  14. Adam

    Liberal and progressive Catholics that are dissaffected with the Catholic Church but do not want to abandon the faith need to consider the Episcopal Church. The Episcopal Chruch honors the Catholic tradiitons in its ceremony but is much more liberal, progressive, and accepting of women, alternative lifestyles and allows its clergy to marry.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  15. cold up north

    Gay is gay and it is wrong once again we have JOHN speding Coom by ya all over the place that is not the world we live in just watch the new evey day jack a**

    June 20, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      I think I see some froth at the mouth. Maybe that's why cold makes absolutely no sense.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  16. Hugo

    @LOL Reglion, what is "this" issue and why does the Rev. need secular input on it (whatever it is)?

    The Rev covered several issues so I can't tell this one is the "this" issue.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • LOL Religion

      Gay marriage and civil rights, of course.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  17. Nikita019

    Yes, any believing faithful person CAN support gay marriage regardless of their religious affiliation as God forbade us to sit in judgement of others.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • A Catholic

      So then I guess we shouldn't sit in judgment of murderers?

      June 20, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Primewonk

      @ "A Catholic" – Why do you compare murder – a criminal activity – with being born gay – a NORMAL NATURAL variant of sèxual orientation? Is this because nutters, like yourself, purposefully choose to be ignorant about science?

      June 20, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • The Rev

      A Catholic – Murder is criminal, hom.ose.xuality is not. While both may be sins in the eyes of God, the law of the land will judge a murderer and not a hom.ose.xual.

      Primework – God will judge all sins as the same. Lying, murder, adultery, coveting, hom.ose.xuatlity, and so on. The point is that NOT ONE of us will be able to stand before Him without sin. The only thing that can justify us is the blood of Christ as our sacrifice.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • A Catholic

      No, the issue is sitting in judgment. Why draw the lines only at criminal activity? The point is that lines have to be drawn and that we all sit in judgment on some things. The only thing that we argue about is where that line is drawn.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • atomD21

      @A catholic... that is weak logic. Murder is universally wrong, regardless of faith or belief system, and is against the law in every nation on earth. Those who break the laws of the land are subject to prosecution and judgement. Same gender marriage does no harm to anyone, and is only viewed as wrong by those with strong religious views. The greater evil is continuing to subject whole segments of the population to persecution and condemnation in the name God. And before you write me off as an atheist nut, I am a Christian that is sick of the status quo in our churches today.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  18. LOL Religion

    Of course Catholics are coming around on the issue of gay marriage and rights, because the vast majority of Catholics are decent, empathetic human beings. It's their church that is oppressive, antiquated, vile and corrupt.

    Love the believer, hate their religion.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  19. John

    Religion and rational morality do not mix.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Um

      More like lack of religion and rational morality do not mix. Without religion you have nothing to base your morality on.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • John

      You have reason.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • QS

      One of the most basic tenets of the religious indoctrination – manipulate people into believing that without this belief they would simply be evil people.

      Religion and morality are NOT synonymous.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  20. The Rev

    To all my non-Christian brothers and sisters...you do not need to be on this blog. We will police the situation accordingly.

    To my brothers and sisters in Christ...peace be with you all! Let me address this as bluntly as I can so as to not insult your intelligence.

    Yes, faith in Christ CAN support gay marriage regardless of denomination.

    It is not our place to judge anyone, especially those that do not hold the Bible in the same regard that we do. While the Word was written for all, not all have accepted the Word. God will use you to witness to those without faith in your life. Please do not do so if you expect some result! Our responsibility as a follower of Christ is to love everyone. We first were loved unconditionally by Christ. It is our job to do likewise. Do what God has commanded and trust Him with the results. While hom.ose.xuality is a sin, it is just a sin. We are all sinners and have fallen short. I must remind all of you of the Book of Mathew. Two very important pieces come from his gospel:

    Matthew 7 : 1-5

    7 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

    Matthew 22 : 37-40:

    37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

    Again, I must say, faith in Christ means to love those around us. Do not be tempted to judge others regardless of their sin! It is their sin! God desires you to love and to share the good news with all you can. You cannot save anyone, only a relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ can do that! If you allow yourself to become hung up by another's sin, you will lose your ability to witness to that individual.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • LOL Religion

      With all due respect Rev, you need secular input on this issue, just as the Church needed secular input on whether the earth was round or the center of the universe, or whether women deserved equality. We're going to drag you kicking and screaming out of the Dark Ages yet, or simply relegate you to the dust bin of history.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • The Rev

      You are certainly welcome here, though I don't know that your opinions are being received as you are intending! I did not mean your input was not valuable and I apologize if it has come across in that way!

      June 20, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • cnnmembuh

      I agree with everything The Good Rev says. We have (presumably) gay couples attending my church and I love them. For all I know, they never have physical relations and even if they do, that's between them and God. I am not worthy to act as judge of anyone's soul. But really, the Church cannot and will not voluntarily condone sinful behavior just to play nice. This is not the church's role.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom the Piper's Father

      Who is 'we'? Oh the .000001% of y©u!

      June 20, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      With respect, Rev, this is a Belief blog, not a Christian belief blog. All of us believe something. All of us then have something to contribute to the conversation.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      "To all my non-Christian brothers and sisters...you do not need to be on this blog. We will police the situation accordingly "

      LOL well thanks for trying to take my rights away. Kudos. I see it doesn't just extend to the g...ay community of the non-religious as well. You will police the situation? Like you police your priests from ra..ping 10 year old boys? Oh yeah, thats right! Policing = Cover Up.

      Congrats on quoting words of many MEN written over a long period of time, then edited by more men. Clearly you are smarter than myself

      June 20, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • The Rev

      I do apologize if my words sounded as though it was not a non-beliver's place to be in here. I only hoped to convey that your words will not be heard by those with a blind faith and a judging heart. As they and I come from a place of faith, it was my desire to speak directly and bluntly with them.

      Please accept my apologies on this matter.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom the Piper's Father

      Sorry Rev but no Christi@ns can not support gay marriage. We do not suoport any sin. Can we let pe©ple decide for themselves,yes. But we can,never suport sin. Thats in conflict with God!

      June 20, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      mema, why doesn't Jeebus give you a new computer? You know, one that all those letter thingies?

      June 20, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • The Rev

      Tom – To support equal rights is not a faith issue, it is a human rights issue. I do not condone hom.ose.xuality or gay marriage, but I will not advocate against it. If we do that, what would you have us do next? Prevent divorce? Pass laws that make adultery a crime? Surely we cannot have laws banning every sin there is.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • The Rev 2012

      No I'm sorry. Your wrong you can not support gay marriage if you are a true Christian. Yes you can love the sinner but despise the sin. Yes there is a difference. Do you forget its in the Bible in Leviticus, that a man will not lay with a man. Yes I have gay friends, and one of my best friends is gay but I don't support their lifestyle. I support them in other things and other areas of their lives but in that area I can't support them. This is not judging them.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • jeff

      If you believe in god, you are wasting your entire life just as if you worshiped the easter bunny or dragons.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • The Rev

      The Rev 2012 – I'm afraid you have missed the New Testament and the new covenant that God brought forward in the person of Jesus Christ. Sin is sin and we will all stand before God in the same light. You are sinning just as those living a gay lifestyle are sinning just as I am sinning. We ALL fall short of the glory of God and we all need the sacrifice made by Christ.

      Your desire to admonish only one group of people is unfortunate.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      jesus never said anything about a New Covenant. Paul bought it in Greece, and stuck it on to the new cult. So sorry. Learn some history. Mark say zip about salvavtion. Why ? ....Paul cooked it up.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      The Rev: As Lol has stated, secular opinions are necessary on this. This is the 21st century and regardless of what your buybull states in regards to the subject, it is outdated and we have access to numerous peer reviewed studies that totally debunk what was written then. These people are not committing any 'sin' against your apparent loving god, they are born this way...there's no disputing that fact.
      The following states some valid information:
      Adult Gay Relationships: Failing to prove that children are harmed by having gay parents, many Christian bigots will go on to claim that ho.mose.xual relationships are “inherently” less stable, less emotionally fulfilling, and psychologically damaging. This claim is also contradicted by the evidence.A 2003 empirical study by Gottman, et al, of the interaction between heter.os.exual and ho.mose.xual couples found that “same-s.ex couples actually demonstrated more positive (and fewer negative) behaviors during their interactions than did married couples.” The 2003 study had a small sample, so Roissman, et al, conducted a more thorough and broader series of studies in 2008. They found “individuals in committed same-se.x relationships were generally not distinguishable from their committed heterose.xual counterparts, with one exception–lesbians were especially effective at working together harmoniously in laboratory observations.”Empirical evidence for actual levels of infidelity in either hete.rose.xuals or ho.mose.xuals is very difficult to come by. Varying cultural and ethnic definitions, self-reporting bias, and social concerns have rendered the body of evidence difficult to interpret. At best. There is no data available for divorce rates among gays — since gay marriage has never been allowed in the U.S. However, it’s important to note that there are no reliable studies linking hom.ose.xuality with higher levels of relationship infidelity.Recent publications have questioned the reality of monogamy as a historical tradition. In The Myth of Monogamy, Barash and Lipton present a compelling (and cross-disciplinary) argument that heteros.exual couples have never been paragons of fidelity to begin with. In other words, it appears that lots of people — both gay and straight — cheat. The Roissman study backed up this conclusion with the observation that both gay and straight couples’ relationship satisfaction was based more on non-se.xual factors like parental support and modeling. Not se.xual orientation.In short, the arguments from the Christian bigots fail. They do not reflect reality, but rather a religious ideological agenda. There is no evidence whatsoever that gays are inherently less healthy, happy, or faithful than straights. There is no evidence that children of gays suffer any harm. In fact, there’s reasonable evidence that children of lesbians are more socially accepting and well adjusted — especially girls." (taken from http://livinglifewithoutanet.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/what-does-science-say-about-gay-relationships/)
      If our world is ever to live in peace, we need to start listening to the updated evidence as it is reviewed and presented to us.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • The Rev 2012

      So your saying that the Old Testament no longer applies. Weren't the 10 Commandments part of the Old Testament?
      You can't pick and choose which of God's laws and commandments you follow. If its wrong in one its wrong in the other the difference between the two in the punishment and how we look at those who commit the sin. Old: eye for an eye New: Turn the other cheek ( Yes over simplified for those of non-religious background) And to point out the obvious again you can't support sin. Agreed you can't judge it but in the same instance you can't support it either

      June 20, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.